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What are the major accomplishments of Plato?

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Plato was a philosopher and mathematician who changed the way philosophy was perceived and practiced in the Western world. He abandoned political power in the oligarchy to seek out virtue. Influenced by Socrates, Plato wrote some of the most enduring pieces of philosophical literature, which have had noted influences on every subsequent culture that read them. He founded the Academy and taught Aristotle, who also shaped Western thought and behavior.

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What are the major accomplishments of Plato?
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Prior to Plato, the word "philosophy" meant the "love of wisdom" and was practiced by many people with little to no application of cohesive methodologies. These people are called pre-Socratic philosophers or Sophists. Sophists viewed philosophy as a trade that could be marketed and sold. The concept of philosophy and philosophical study in which strict logical methods are used to systematically and critically examine issues originated with Plato and his dialogues. He made extensive use of informal logic, searching for fallacies and inconsistencies in arguments, and he was one of the first thinkers to apply mathematical logic. His student Aristotle further developed these processes into informal logic, which laid the groundwork for future scientific thought a thousand years later.

Plato lived in the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens. He eventually met Socrates, who became one of Plato's greatest influences. He often used Socrates as the main character in many of his dialogues, in which Plato sought out the answers to political, social, epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues through a dialectical discourse between characters. Works considered his most influential include "Apology," "Republic," "Symposium" and "Timaeus," among many more.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are Plato and Aristotle similar?

    A:

    Plato and Aristotle are similar in that they both contemplated man's existence in the world and the significance of that existence. They both tried to understand what it means to be aware of one's existence and how that existence is related to that of others.

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  • Q:

    What is Plato famous for?

    A:

    Plato is famous for being one of the most influential figures in Western philosophy, and his student Aristotle went on to have a similarly large impact on the world. According to Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher, "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."

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  • Q:

    Who is Plato?

    A:

    Plato, born around 428 B.C. in Athens, Greece, was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle who founded one of the first institutes of higher learning. He wrote on a variety of subjects, including justice, equality, politics, theology and cosmology.

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  • Q:

    What were some of the achievements of Rene Descartes?

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    Although often remembered best for the quotation "I think, therefore I am," the philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, also developed the Cartesian coordinate system, made significant contributions to the field of optics and devised a mechanistic model of physics. In addition to being considered the father of modern philosophy, based primarily on his breaking away from the previously adhered-to Scholastic-Aristotelian tradition, Descartes is also viewed as one of the major figures in the scientific revolution that was taking place in the 17th century. One of his most ambitious undertakings was the development of a systematic theory of deduction and knowledge based on methodological skepticism that eventually grew into 17th-century European rationalism.

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